Stockholm is one of the world’s most open-cities and has for decades proactively put gay and lesbian travel at the forefront of its tourism message. Unequivocally the gay capital of Scandinavia, the capital of Sweden aims to be a role model for diversity and inclusion not just for LGBTQ people, but for all.
Stockholm has a lot to celebrate on the LGBTQ front in the foreseeable future. In summer 2018, it will host the opening ceremony to this year’s Europride celebrations for the third time in three decades, in partnership with the city of Gothenburg, making history as it is the first time two cities will host the landmark event.
In 2019, as the world heralds 50 years of gay liberation since the Stonewall Riots in NYC, Stockholm celebrates 75 years since gay and lesbian decriminalization (earning it the moniker ‘gay since 1944’) and 10 years of equal marriage.
With such key milestones for Stockholm on the horizon, some of the city’s leading travel brands – hotels, restaurants, attractions and nightlife – have been brought together to form a network called Stockholm LGBT.
This new, pioneering organization represents the tourism businesses truly passionate about bringing LGBTQ travellers into the city. Supported by ‘Stockholm Gay Life’ (the business alliance of LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-run businesses in Stockholm), as well as Visit Stockholm (the city’s tourism marketing organisation), the network aims to promote its members to LGBTQ travellers and stakeholders across the world, with the objective to maintain Stockholm’s position as among the world’s leading LGBTQ-welcoming cities for the foreseeable future.
Founding members include leading Stockholm properties Hotel Hellsten, Hobo and Skeppsholmen as well as world-class photography museum Fotografiska.
Christina Guggenberger, the network’s founder, says: ‘As someone who has worked in developing LGBTQ tourism for the city for over a decade, I am thrilled to be able to continue the fantastic work that has been done to solidify Stockholm’s reputation as a destination of choice for the global LGBTQ community.
‘I am ecstatic about the support we have had from our fantastic partners and members – including Visit Stockholm – all of which who are so passionate about diversity and inclusion in tourism. We have some amazing things planned this year, so watch this space!’
Planned activities include international travel trade development, digital and social marketing and advertising campaigns and a strong press, media and influencer visitor programme to engage the LGBTQ community to pick Stockholm and the organization’s partners for their next vacation. The organization will also place some emphasis on training and development, hosting an LGBTQ travel symposium in the city in September.
‘Being a part of the global LGBTQ community is crucial to engaging LGBTQ travelers across the world. As a small organization with big ambitions to make a splash in the international LGBTQ travel market, we have to focus on targeted, innovative and fun activities that will capture the imagination of travelers and inspire them to visit our fantastic LGBTQ-welcoming partners,’ says Uwern Jong, who heads up marketing and international outreach for the network.
The network’s traveler-facing website at StockholmLGBT.com provides inspiration for those looking to research and book a holiday or vacation in the city. The project can be followed on social via Instagram: @stockholmlgbt or by using the hashtag #StockholmLGBT.
For a full list of members, visit StockholmLGBT.com or join @stockholmlgbt #stockholmlgbt on Instagram.
For ongoing inspiration on the Open City of Stockholm, visit VisitStockholm.com
Stockholm LGBT is a partner of Gay Star News